How to Identify the Source of a Roof Leak

Leak in roof

So, you’ve got a leaky roof. Chances are, this has caught you by surprise, as you might have just noticed those telltale, tea-like stains on your ceilings. There’s no need to panic however, as we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve that should save your property from further damage. Sourcing the leak should be your first step, yet it is often the trickiest one. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to discover leaks in your roof, and what to do once you’ve found them!

Spotting the Signs

You might have noticed a leak already, but ceiling stains aren’t the only prominent sign. As we’ve worked in the roofing industry for some time, we’ve seen it all. The following signs may indicate the presence of a leaking roof:

Shingle in Your Garden – You’re mowing your lawn, when suddenly, you notice a tiny piece of roofing shingle on the grass. There’s only one place that this could’ve come from. This is an incredibly common sign that many people ignore.

Black Stains – Or, more specifically, black stains around the chimney or roofing deck. This indicates mould, and mould indicates moisture. It’s a common sign of a larger problem, so you should investigate further.

Rotting Wood – Leaks often occur around skylights. If your skylight is plagued by rotting wood or paintwork that has peeled, you need to examine it closely. Rotting wood is a common sign of a leak, and peeling paintwork is commonly caused by mould or moisture.

Pinholes – Many people commonly visit their loft space once they suspect a leak, as it’s bound to start from the top! On a bright day, you might be able to see pinholes in the lining of the roof. This could be the source, or a potential source of a leak. It’s best to get those patched up as soon as possible.

Find the Source

The best thing to do when looking for a leak? Go up! If the leak is in your roof, you should be able to gain information from your loft space, so it’s a great place to start. There may be a bit of DIY involved, so please enter prepared. (Also, wait until a rainy day!) 

Once you’re up there, shine a torch around the room. Water reflects light, so if it’s raining, you should be able to diagnose the origin of the leak. Mark it with a circle, as you’ll need to come back to this later.

Solve the Problem

Now, you’ll need a friend or wonderful assistant. And you’ll also need to be careful! (Wait for a dry day this time.) One of you needs to enter the loft space, while the other needs to climb onto the roof. We’d recommend a sturdy ladder and a cup of tea to get the job done right. Keep the tea off the roof though.

Once you’re both in your respective positions, you can find the source. The person within the loft needs to tap on the circle (that you marked earlier), and the other person needs to locate it on the roof. You can then cover it with new shingles or roofing cement. (You may also be able to use RubberCover if it’s a damaged flat roof!)

If completed successfully, the leaks should stop. It’s important to note that this isn’t the only solution, but it’s one that is common for domestic properties throughout the UK. If your roof leaks during certain times of the year, it could be a complex problem that requires a contractor.

Please Note: The advice in this blog is given without specific knowledge of your property or situation. All advice given should be followed at your own risk.

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